By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC News: As Palestinian farmers across the West bank prepare for the annual olive harvest, several attacks by Israeli settlers have destroyed the harvest of a number of these farmers. On Saturday near Nablus, Israeli settlers chopped down over one hundred olive trees, just a few days before they were scheduled to be harvested.
That incident took place in Deir Sharaf village, south of Nablus in the northern part of the West Bank, and followed an attack by Israeli settlers on Friday in the same area. In that incident, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinian farmer Abdul-Rahman Ibrahim Awad while he was picking olives on his land in the village of Jammain, threatened him at gunpoint and forced him to leave his olive harvesting.
The hundred olive trees destroyed on Saturday belong to Yasser Fuqaha, Sidqi Fuqaha, Mustafa Fuqaha and others from the Meri family in Deir Sharaf village.
On Sunday, a group of settlers crove bulldozers through Palestinian farmland near Salfit, in the north-central part of the West Bank. The settlers came from the nearby settlement of Ariel, which is the largest settlement in the West Bank and houses over 40,000 Israeli settlers.
The local residents say that the destruction of farmland has been an ongoing issue, as Israeli settlers continue to destroy Palestinian farmland in order to expand their illegal settlements.
There are currently over 500,000 Israeli settlers living on Palestinian land stolen from its owners. These settlements have been constructed for the purpose of the transfer of Israeli civilians into land seized by the Israeli military occupation, in contravention of international law.